UAB Blazers

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 3: Cornerback Jeremy Reaves #1 of the South Alabama Jaguars celebrates after a big play during their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. The South Alabama Jaguars defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 21-20. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
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UAB and South Alabama schedule home-and-home for 2019-2020

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As UAB works to make their return to college football, there is also the business of securing future football games. On Friday, the Blazers added two more future games against an in-state opponent, South Alabama. The two schools in Alabama announced a future home-and-home series to be played in 2019 and 2020.

UAB will host South Alabama on September 21, 2019. South Alabama will be the home team the following season, on September 26, 2020.

The two schools were originally slated to play a series in 2015 and 2016, but UAB’s decision to shut the football program down forced a cancellation in the series and led to South Alabama looking for other ways to fill the gaps on the schedule. As a result, South Alabama landed a two-game series with San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference, which turned in to two victories for the South Alabama program. Last weekend’s victory over the Aztecs was the first against a top 25 program in South Alabama program history. Once UAB reversed course on the decision to shut the football program down, it was expected to be only a matter of time before UAB and South Alabama could put together new plans for an upcoming series.

UAB will return to the football field in 2017, at which time they will rejoin Conference USA and retain their full FBS status.

Leaving Illini in search of a ‘more stable program,’ Teko Powell lands at UAB

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 16: Carlos Hyde #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drags tacklers Houston Bates #55 and Teko Powell #93 of the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 60-35.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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After announcing last month that he would be leaving Illinois in search of a “more stable program,” Teko Powell has ended up at one that was disbanded less than two years ago, resurrected a half-year later and won’t resume play until 2017.

According to al.com, Powell (pictured, No. 93) joined the UAB program last week and is now listed on the Blazers’ roster. Powell comes to UAB as a graduate transfer from the Illini.

“I had four different head coaches that either recruited me or coached me,” Powell said in announcing his decision to leave the Illini in July. “I’m looking for a more stable program with the last two years of eligibility that I’ll have.”

Powell’s new head coach, Bill Clark, signed a five-year contract in September of last year, for what that’s worth.

After appearing in seven games as a true freshman, Powell played in 10 contests as a sophomore in 2013, starting six of those contests. He started the first three games of the following season before he was sidelined with a season-ending foot injury. Thanks to another foot injury sustained during summer camp, he also missed the entire 2015 season.

Those injuries led to Powell being granted fifth and sixth seasons from the NCAA.

Tulane, UAB announce home-and-home series

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Tanner Lee #12 of the Tulane Green Wave throws under pressure from Duke Blue Devils at Yulman Stadium on September 3, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Tulane and UAB will meet in a split home-and-home series, the schools jointly announced Tuesday.

UAB will host the Green Wave Sept. 15, 2018, with the Blazers heading to New Orleans on Sept. 25, 2021.

The former Conference USA rivals have met nine times from 1999 through 2012, with Tulane holding a 5-4 edge. The Green Wave will enter the home-and-home on a two-game winning streak, taking the most recent meeting in a 55-45 decision on Oct. 27, 2012 at the Superdome.

“Regionally, this is a great game that both fan bases will be able to travel for,” UAB head coach Bill Clark said in a statement. “This is in the recruiting radius of both schools so it should be a great series.”

UAB’s scheduling of Tulane will necessitate a new date for its previously scheduled non-conference game against Coastal Carolina; the new game date is still to be determined. The Blazers will visit Texas A&M a week after their visit to Birmingham.

Tulane has previously scheduled two Power Five opponents in both 2018 and 2021. The Green Wave is set to face Ohio State and Wake Forest in 2018 — the UAB series with UAB will replace a game with Georgia Tech — and Oklahoma and Ole Miss in 2021.

“When we scheduled Ohio State, we knew we would have to move some things around,” Tulane AD Troy Dannen told the New Orleans Advocate. “Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for us to play three Power Five schools in the same season. When we couldn’t get the dates together, we just had to cancel it.”

Tulane also announced a home date with Grambling and a home-and-home with Florida International.

UAB stays in-house to fill another coaching vacancy

UAB Blazers v Arkansas Razorbacks
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Twice this offseason, Bill Clark stayed in-house to fill vacancies on his UAB coaching staff.  For a third time, he’s taken a similar tack.

According to al.com, Clark has promoted Xavier Robinson to be the Blazers’ defensive backs coach.  Robinson had been the football program’s strength & conditioning coach since 2014.

The assistant will fill the spot on the nine-man staff opened up by the departure of Duwan Walker, who stepped down as UAB’s defensive coordinator last month to enter private business.  Clark subsequently promoted defensive line coach David Reeves to coordinator.

Reeves will continue to coach the line as well.

Also last month, Clark announced that Trey Clark had been promoted to offensive line coach.  Clark replaced Mike Bennefield, who stepped down in mid-May to spend more time with his family.

UAB returns to the playing field in 2017, although the Blazers are assembling a squad and will practice together this fall.

Michigan, Ohio State as co-B1G favorites among Bovada conference title odds

25 Nov 1995:  General view of a game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won the game, 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of the 2016 season?  I look at the calendar, of course.  Well, that and another batch of odds being released by a Las Vegas book.

Bovada.lv has once again served as the releaser, with the oddsmaker releasing its conference championship odds.   Last year’s title game participants, Alabama and Clemson, are solidly(ish) favored to win the SEC and ACC, respectively, while a College Football Playoff semifinalist, Oklahoma, is set as the overwhelming favorite to claim the Big 12.

One of the more interesting set of odds comes from another Power Five conference.

In the Big Ten East, two-time defending division winner Ohio State is listed as a 1/1 favorite, slightly ahead of rival Michigan at 5/4.  That’s for the division championship; when it comes to the overall conference championship, Bovada has the Buckeyes and Wolverines listed as co-favorites at 7/4.  Those numbers are well ahead of the next B1G squad, 2015 CFP semifinalist Michigan State (7/1), with all of those odds for the conference further illustrating how little is thought of the B1G West.

Below are the complete set of conference championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the AAC Championship
Houston 1/1
South Florida 7/2
Cincinnati 11/2
Temple 15/2
Memphis 11/1
Navy 11/1
UConn 20/1
East Carolina 33/1
Tulsa 33/1
SMU 75/1
Central Florida 100/1
Tulane 200/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the ACC Atlantic Division
Clemson 10/11
Florida State 5/4
Louisville 6/1
NC State 14/1
Boston College 40/1
Syracuse 50/1
Wake Forest 50/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the ACC Coastal Division
Miami 3/2
Pittsburgh 3/1
Virginia Tech 3/1
North Carolina 17/4
Georgia Tech 10/1
Duke 20/1
Virginia 40/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the ACC Championship
Clemson 3/2
Florida State 9/4
Miami 9/1
Louisville 10/1
North Carolina 10/1
Pittsburgh 14/1
Virginia Tech 14/1
Georgia Tech 16/1
NC State 20/1
Duke 40/1
Syracuse 75/1
Virginia 75/1
Wake Forest 75/1
Boston College 100/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Big Ten East Division
Ohio State 1/1
Michigan 5/4
Michigan State 6/1
Penn State 101
Indiana 33/1
Maryland 33/1
Rutgers 50/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Big Ten West Division
Iowa 1/1
Nebraska 2/1
Wisconsin 4/1
Northwestern 9/1
Minnesota 14/1
Illinois 25/1
Purdue 33/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Big Ten Championship
Michigan 7/4
Ohio State 7/4
Michigan State 7/1
Iowa 9/1
Nebraska 9/1
Wisconsin 14/1
Penn State 18/1
Northwestern 33/1
Minnesota 40/1
Illinois 50/1
Indiana 50/1
Maryland 50/1
Purdue 100/1
Rutgers 100/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Big 12 Championship
Oklahoma 2/3
Oklahoma State 5/1
TCU 5/1
Baylor 8/1
Texas 17/2
West Virginia 12/1
Kansas State 33/1
Texas Tech 33/1
Iowa State 100/1
Kansas 250/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Conference USA Championship
Southern Miss 9/4
Marshall 11/4
Western Kentucky 7/2
Middle Tennessee 5/1
Louisiana Tech 6/1
FAU 16/1
Rice 20/1
UTEP 25/1
FIU 33/1
Charlotte 100/1
North Texas 100/1
UTSA 100/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the MAC Conference Championship
Western Michigan 5/2
Northern Illinois 11/2
Toledo 11/2
Bowling Green 13/2
Akron 15/2
Central Michigan 15/2
Ohio 15/2
Buffalo 14/1
Kent State 14/1
Miami (Ohio) 18/1
Ball State 40/1
Eastern Michigan 100/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Mountain West Conference Championship Game
Boise State 5/4
San Diego State 11/4
San Jose State 10/1
Air Force 15/2
Utah State 10/1
Colorado State 12/1
Nevada 12/1
New Mexico 18/1
Fresno State 33/1
UNLV 33/1
Hawaii 50/1
Wyoming 50/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Pac 12 North Division
Stanford 8/5
Washington 7/4
Oregon 3/1
Washington State 13/2
California 10/1
Oregon State 50/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Pac 12 South Division
UCLA 7/5
USC 7/4
Utah 5/1
Arizona State 13/2
Arizona 15/2
Colorado 20/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the Pac 12 Championship Game
Stanford 3/1
UCLA 7/2
Washington 4/1
Oregon 11/2
USC 11/2
Utah 12/1
Washington State 14/1
Arizona 20/1
Arizona State 20/1
California 22/1
Colorado 50/1
Oregon State 50/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the SEC East Division
Tennessee 4/5
Georgia 2/1
Florida 9/2
Missouri 16/1
Kentucky 25/1
South Carolina 25/1
Vanderbilt 25/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the SEC West Division
Alabama 4/5
LSU 9/4
Auburn 7/1
Ole Miss 12/1
Arkansas 14/1
Texas A&M 14/1
Mississippi State 20/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to win the SEC Championship
Alabama 7/4
LSU 7/2
Tennessee 7/2
Georgia 9/1
Ole Miss 10/1
Texas A&M 16/1
Auburn 18/1
Florida 18/1
Arkansas 20/1
Kentucky 50/1
Missouri 50/1
Mississippi State 50/1
South Carolina 66/1
Vanderbilt 100/1

NCAA Football 2016 Season – Odds to Win the Sun Belt Championship
Appalachian State 9/4
Arkansas State 9/4
Georgia Southern 5/2
UL Lafayette 8/1
Troy 10/1
Georgia State 14/1
Idaho 25/1
South Alabama 25/1
New Mexico State 33/1
UL Monroe 40/1
Texas State 100/1